Key & Compass presents:
The Surprising Case of Brian Timmons
by Marshal Tenner Winter

The Surprising Case of Brian Timmons is a Z-machine text adventure game written with Inform 7 and is © 2013 by Marshal Tenner Winter. It is the first game in his Nameless Detective series.

In this game, you play as a rude American private eye in the 1920's who specializes in solving occult crimes. Your client, Mrs Timmons, just committed her son Brian to a sanatorium. She thinks Brian has gone insane and wants you to find out what's wrong with him.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.


Part 1: Timmons Manor

car SittingRoom Foyer FrontSteps FrontWalk Sidewalk(in frontof house) Sidewalk(nearyour car)

SUMMARY: Meet your client, Mrs Timmons, and find out what the job is: find out what's wrong with her son Brian, who she just had committed to the Holmes Sanatorium.

Sidewalk (near your car)

You should know that UNDO is forbidden in this game.

> x me. i. x fedora. x clothes. x coat. x holster. x revolver.

> x car. x manor.

> w. n. n.

Front Steps

> x door. x doorbell. push doorbell. n.


You cannot wander all over the manor; only the foyer and sitting room are available.

> x Jarvis. w.

Sitting Room

Mrs Timmons will enter one turn after you enter, then monologue for several turns. You can use those turns while she's talking to do other things besides "wait". Make sure that you get the hairpin.

> take clipping. take hairpin. x mrs. x flowers. x card.

> read clipping. x hairpin.

> x sofa. x end table. x doilies.

> ask mrs about jarvis. ask mrs about brian.

> ask mrs about woonsocket. ask mrs about baines.

> e.


Jarvis gives you a book when you leave the sitting room. And you can't go back in there either.

> x book. ask jarvis about brian. ask jarvis about mrs timmons.

> ask jarvis about robert. ask jarvis about woonsocket.

> s. s. s. e. s.

Part 2: Sanatorium

The Office SanatoriumEntrance Lobby WideSteps UpstairsHall ParkingLot SafeRoom ParkingLot (nearyour car) The Park car u d

SUMMARY: Visit Brian in the Sanatorium; see what he has to say.

Parking Lot (near your car)

> x building. x trees.

> ne. n. n. e.


> x guard. x paper. x desk.

> ask guard about brian. n.

The Office

There's quite the cutscene with Dr Giselle Fitzgibbon which happens as soon as you enter her office. She tells you Brian's in the safe room upstairs, denies your request to see him, and sashays out immediately before you can ask her anything else.

> x lab coat. x pocket. open it. take pass. x pass.

> x cabinet. unlock cabinet with hairpin. open cabinet.

> take all from cabinet. x file. x safe-room key.

> x desk. x diplomas. s.


> show pass to guard. u.

Upstairs Hall

> x window. x door. unlock door with safe-room key. s.

Safe Room

Brian will monologue for a few turns soon after you enter.

> x Brian. x jacket. ask brian about woonsocket.

> ask brian about graverobbing. ask brian about haley.

> n.

Upstairs Hall

When you leave the building, Dr Giselle will confront you, but she doesn't bother to take back anything you stole from her office.

> close door. lock it with safe-room key.

> d. w. s. s. sw. s.

Part 3: Haley Farm

Dirt Road(NearYour Car) Dirt Road Dark Path Dirt Road NorthYard DarkWoods Dark Path FrontYard WalterHaley'sShack BackYard OpenField SouthYard

SUMMARY: Find this Walter Haley chap that Brian mentioned.

Dirt Road (Near Your Car)

There's really nothing to see until you get within sight of the shack.

> put all in coat. take revolver.

> s. sw. sw. sw. w.

Back Yard

> x shack.

Choose: circle around the shack to the north or the south? North is safer.

> nworsw.

Front Yard

> e.

Walter Haley's Shack

Walter kills himself before you can do anything. You must take the map before you can leave.

> look. x haley. x map. take map. x shotgun.

> x bed. x table. x chair. x rubbish.

> w. (Off to the next venue...)

Part 4: Timmons Farm

DirtDriveway car Porch Study LivingRoom Kitchen BackPorch Bedroom DiningRoom Gravesite Back-woodsPath AncientTowerFoundation SlopingTunnel CrampedTunnel CrampedTunnel The RoomBeyond Reform-atory

SUMMARY: Check out the Timmons farm in Woonsocket where Brian was living.

Dirt Driveway

> s.


If you use the hairpin here, it breaks, but you won't need it past this point anyway.

> x door. s.

> break doororunlock door with hairpin.

> s.

Living Room

> smell. x furnishings. w.


> x desk. open it. take all from it.

> read note. x antique key.

> e. e.


> open cupboard. take sardines. x it.

> s. n. w. s. (There's nothing in the Dining Room to the south.)


> take journal. read it.

> smell. x bed. search bed. move plank.

> x corpse. search it. x table.

> w.

Back Porch

At this point, I'd suggest putting the journal, map, and note into your coat, but your coat's full. Also, the trip south from the back porch is one-way, so this might be a good place to save.

> save. s.


> x grave. s. s.

Ancient Tower Foundation

> x stones. x dirt. search dirt.

> se. s. s.

Cramped Tunnel

> x timbers. x door. unlock door with antique key.

> sw.


> x grate. look through grate. open can.

> drop can. put last sardine in grate.

> w.

The Room Beyond

The mutated man, Jason Greeley, will monologue for several turns after you enter.

> x man. x black book. x bottles. x chair. x table.

> cast spell. e.

Part 5: Return to the Sanatorium

SUMMARY: Vanquish one evil sorcerer: Douglas Timmons.

Parking Lot

> ne. se.

The Park

This is your only chance to actually examine Dr Giselle as an NPC. Give her some time to monologue, give you a key, then flee.

> x dr. z. z. z. x sanatorium key.

> nw. n. n.

Sanatorium Entrance

> unlock door with sanatorium key. e.

The Lobby

Make sure your revolver is still out of its holster. If it isn't, take it. Feel free to drop things you don't need, if the inventory limits are getting in the way.

> x blood-stained newspaper. n.


An optional bit of Grand Guignol for you.

> x guard. shoot lunatic. search guard. read card.

> s.

The Lobby

> u. shoot madman. u.

Upstairs Hall

> s.

Safe Room

There's no wiggle room here. If you fail to act quickly and appropriately, you die.

> shoot inmate. again. cast spell.

Sitting Room

Just press enter several times to reel out the epilogue, as you explain to the horrified Mrs Timmons exactly what happened.

*** You have won ***



The non-player characters are:

Other characters mentioned or referenced:


In the rough order acquired:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough is provided free of charge since I wrote this walkthrough prior to January 2015 when I began my Patreon account. I've since reformatted this walkthrough to use my currently preferred style. I hope you enjoy it!

I'm still creating new walkthroughs! Please visit my Patreon account if you're interested in helping me create more interactive fiction walkthroughs. I appreciate all the help I can get! Thanks again.